Domaine du Clos de l’Élu, 2015 Update

Sitting in Le 15 Gourmands, a restaurant on the Boulevard Foch in Angers, I thumbed lazily through the wine list. I wasn’t ‘thumbing’ for long; there were about six or seven pages to it, but with only half a dozen wines listed on each page that doesn’t make for a very lengthy read, and I was soon at the back page. There was one consolation of course, and that was the fact that the Loire Valley was, as you would expect, dominant. It might have been a short list but there was certainly more promise here than the Greek place near the Place du Ralliement I dined at the year before where the only wines for drinking were a very tired rosé bordering on oxidation that was drunk in an act of selfless euthanasia (for the wine, not me) rather than pleasure, and a red so imbued with the roughest of tannins that it was, ultimately, more filling than the meal itself.

And then my index finger, gently coursing over the pages a second time, alighted upon the wines of Domaine du Clos de l’Élu. This domaine is one of several that in recent years have been rescued from ignominy by fresh blood, a domaine where once all was sold to the juice-thirsty négociants but, now those ties have been cut, this is an increasingly interesting source of Vin d’Anjou in all colours. The wine I had settled on was an Anjou Rouge, not usually my first choice for drinking I confess. Cabernet Franc excels in the Loire Valley but just as is the case in St Emilion, where all the best Cabernet-rich vineyards are up on the plateau, it needs limestone to do so. It needs the calcaire of the Anjou Blanche, or the tuffeau of Saumur or Chinon. On the schists and slates of the Anjou Noire the style is always a touch more robust and spicy, cru bourgeois to Saumur’s cru classé wines. But my index finger had chosen, and the wine – the 2012 Anjou L’Aiglerie from Domaine du Clos de l’Élu – was a delight, the spicy-schistous Cabernet Franc tones softened by the inclusion of 20% Grolleau. It didn’t show anything of the earthy streak I saw when I tasted it last year (an off bottle, perhaps?). And what’s more the meal was pretty good too; this is a restaurant I will be returning to.

Domaine du Clos de l'Élu

Coming on top of a good tasting with the saviour of Domaine du Clos de l’Élu, Thomas Carsin (pictured above), last year, I resolved to keep track of this domaine. And so we have here a report on two further tastings with Thomas, the first on his home turf, in Angers, the more recent in London.

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